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13 Things you can do to protect water
Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge! Water Pitcher
Re-use water when possible!
  • Simple things like rinsing your fruits and vegetables in a bowl instead of under running water and then re-using it for watering plants can save a lot of water
  • Fish tank water can be used to water your plants also!
Turn the water off when you brush your teeth
  • Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth wastes, on average, 5 gallons of water!
  • Install low flow aerators on your faucets
  • A single faucet leaking ~1 drip per second wastes ~5 gallons a day, up to 3,000 gallons per year!
  • The average American household uses almost 900 gallons of water per week to flush the toilet
  • Older toilets can use 5X as much water for flushing as new toilets
  • Older toilets can be retrofitted with newer *insides* to make your toilet more efficient, saving water AND money!
Dishwashers and Laundry
  • Full loads of dishes and laundry conserve water!
Wash your car at a car wash
  • They usually use about ½ the water you’d use at home
Use and dispose of chemicals according to the directions on the label
  • Take used motor oil to recycling centers
  • Limit use of lawn and garden chemicals, following label precautions carefully
Participate in a volunteer water monitoring program
  • Many states and counties have volunteer water monitoring programs, many are listed here!
*IF* you water your lawn and garden…
  • water *only* the things that grow! (not your sidewalk or driveway)
  • water before 10 AM or after 6 PM! (to minimize evaporation)
  • don’t overwater! (water *only* the amount the ground can absorb, no runoff!)
  • it’s best not to water when it’s windy
  • let your grass grow a little taller! (adjust your mower to a higher setting, taller grass conserves water)
  • consider putting in some plants that require less water than grass (go google xeriscaping!)
Mulch around your trees and landscaping!
  • Mulch will help hold moisture *in* and (bonus!) ... 
  • will reduce your weeding time!
Protect surface waters, like streams, rivers, and lakes from pet waste
  • Storm drains often go directly in to local surface waters 
  • Pet waste that isn’t disposed of properly frequently ends up in YOUR local waterways… with all of the associated contaminants, including fecal coliforms that can make you very sick.
Support legislation that protects our water!

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. "Clean Water Act" became the Act's common name with amendments in 1972.

Under the CWA, EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. We have also set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters.

The CWA made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained. EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls discharges. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (go here for more) - “42 U.S.C. §300f et seq. (1974)
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources.

The Act authorizes EPA to establish minimum standards to protect tap water and requires all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with these primary (health-related) standards. The 1996 amendments to SDWA require that EPA consider a detailed risk and cost assessment, and best available peer-reviewed science, when developing these standards. State governments, which can be approved to implement these rules for EPA, also encourage attainment of secondary standards (nuisance-related). Under the Act, EPA also establishes minimum standards for state programs to protect underground sources of drinking water from endangerment by underground injection of fluids."